I hope that you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. I went to see family in Massachusetts. There were four children between the ages of two and four that I got to spend hours with. Watching them play and studying how they make up stories is very humbling. It’s clear to me that we are born with natural talent and it is through practice and application that we refine our natural abilities into a craft. I practiced my craft by attempting to be a little kid and to see holiday proceedings as they would. I mentally copied their speech patterns and listened to the responses that they got. One major takeaway from this practice was to see how unconcerned they were with time and with the mechanics necessary to win the game they were playing.
Interestingly, this is exactly the way I teach my students to create their first draft: not to worry about how characters win, or how long it takes. By focusing on the character and what he or she wants, and who and what is in the way, a good story with the sound structure is easily formed.
And at my SVA class this week, we were fortunate to have Sarah Babineau, VP of Development for Comedy Central, visit our class to discuss how to create comedy for TV. An important point that she made was that the best shows are ones that are created from love and personal connection rather than trying to think about what will be “salable.” Another important point was that selling comedy is all about the writing which has to be super funny, socially relevant, provocative and personally relatable to.
Writer’s write, so let’s all get busy and make 2019 are best year ever!
Here’s to your successful writing,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz